Aquaponic Gardening

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DIY Heater, build your own 2000 watt heater for $20 ***DONT USE COPPER OR NICKEL ELEMENTS!

submersible virsion... http://community.theaquaponicsource.com/forum/topics/diy-heater-sub... ...this how-to has the link for the stainless elements.

After many variations, this is the simplest heater I've been able to build. I had to come up with this last year while waiting for my $600 heater to be built and delivered. when it finally arrived, I just left it in the box and continued to use the home built unit.

DO NOT USE THE COPPER ELEMENT FROM HOME DEPOT!  YOU MUST ORDER A STAINLESS STEEEL ELEMENT.   ....This is a 2000 watt element from Home Depot, a 1-1/2" to 1" reducer, a 1-1/2" uniseal, and a fitting with net pots to keep the fish off the element. I found that a heavy duty timer works for a thermostat. I run it for 15 mins on the hour to keep my 150 gallon tank toasty. this would be adjusted according to your needs. i have used this on as much as 600 gallons, but would recommend going to the 240 volt, 4000 watt for anything over 400 gallon. Note - the 2" net pots slip right onto a male threaded 1-1/2" nipple.

The top pipe is optional, i like to keep it as tall as the water level will allow. This will create a convective flow of water across the element. Works great!

here is the newer version...

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Vlad, I hope your doing well.. good to hear from you.. I dont mean to argue ;-)

I should have said.. I personally dont like to use silicon in this build..

but it couldnt hurt.  

cheers,

Rob 

I built one of these heaters and filled the PVC with silicone. Like Rob said, it didn't seem to dry completely. Shorted out. I just replaced it with a bucket heater     http://www.amazon.com/Allied-Precision-Premier-742G-Bucket/dp/B000B...

Just dropped it in connected to a thermostat and no more problems.

Oh yeah, as an added safety run a ground wire into your tank with any setup.

Hi Rob

Did you cut the slots into your heater cover or can you buy it? I am working on making my heater and really like this design. I am going to do a hanging heater and the water could free flow around the heater element with this set up.

Thanks, Keith

Rob Nash said:

 

Wes, here is the newest submersible style im trying. this is a 2" to 1" threaded reducer with the edges filed off. in this example the coupler is pvc, i didnt have a rubber 2" but would recomend one like the 1-1/2" shown. The cord is pushed through a flex hose "slip" fitting. (you have to find a cord that fits into the hose fitting just right. in this case i think this one is 3/8)



 

 

 

 

 

 

 this shows the reducer before and after filing the edges off. 

  

I just finished making my heater yesterday night. In 14 hours it brought my 240 gal fish tank and my 45 gal grow bed up from 50 degrees to 75 degrees. It would of been higher but I did not set the temp range properly on my itc-1000f temp controller. I figured out what I did wrong and I now can get my tank cycling properly and hopefully get some nitrates going before long and get my fish and plants doing there job. Mine is a little different than the one you have but still the same concept. Very happy with this heater system.

I had a problem when I used that style heater with it shorting to the tank. When you stick your finger in the water you could feel a tingle and you could register voltage with a meter. I put a wire in the water and ran it to ground to eliminate possible problems. I had a similar issue with a regular aquarium heater too at one time. 

Hi Jeff

I have not had any issue like that. I have put my hand in the water to check it. I also used food grade water proof silicon to cover the heater where the wires connect to the  element just in case there is any type of leak. What is nice it took less than 15 hours for the temp to increase 30 degrees. 

I will check my water everyday to make sure that there is no shorting of the element. I will continue to make notes on here on how it is going so if there are any issues we can continue to learn and grow our systems to be better.

As I said this has happened with an aquarium heater too. Easiest thing to do is just drop a ground wire in your tank.
 
Gordon Keith Denman said:

Hi Jeff

I have not had any issue like that. I have put my hand in the water to check it. I also used food grade water proof silicon to cover the heater where the wires connect to the  element just in case there is any type of leak. What is nice it took less than 15 hours for the temp to increase 30 degrees. 

I will check my water everyday to make sure that there is no shorting of the element. I will continue to make notes on here on how it is going so if there are any issues we can continue to learn and grow our systems to be better.

Thanks Jeff that is actually a easy fix and precaution to boot. I will do that just to add another security measure to my system.

Great IDEA !! i liked it so much i made one tonite :) the weather has been down in the "BrrrrRRRrr's" in Ohio lately and my lil water heaters were not keeping up. i used the "inline" style you showed as an example my cost at "lowes" was $26 wayy cheaper than a typical aquarium heater and much more powerful. I ran it for an hour and 30 min after i installed it, then plugged it in the timer for 15 min each hour. I will post pics soon. I wanted to thank You for the very useful tip on the DIY water heater.

 Happy Growin to ya'

Wild Dog

Aren't those heating elements High in Zinc? I know at least some of them are. 

I'm not saying it's right or wrong but I've used the cheaper elements with no adverse affects that I see. Never could get them to stay sealed so I went with a bucket heater in the fish tank. Works great.

Well if it does contain zinc it can kill your fish in a matter of days.

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